Metal Architecture: 5 World-known Metal-inspired Buildings

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles showcases stunning metal architecture.

Ask different architects what makes a building a monument, and you’ll be surprised by the complexity and differences in the responses.

That’s because the most incredible buildings stand out for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s the complicated or weirdness of the design, other times the artistry.

An architectural rendering of a glass and metal building in the middle of a forest.

And in some cases, it is the feeling or mood a building gives or sets at first glimpse of it.

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But the material can also be the X-factor in a construction. And metal is the last thing that comes to mind at the mention of material.

A modern house with metal architecture positioned on a grassy field.

Why? Many homeowners consider it a standard for inner (foundation) works— and never the first choice for their facade.

Well, maybe that perception is about to change. The following metal-themed buildings boast global recognition because of how creative their designers got with metal architecture.

5 Buildings Flaunting Metal Architecture

1. Q1 ThyssenKrupp Headquarter in Essen, Germany

A metal office building with a reflective pool in front of it.

The metal atrium of an office building with glass walls.

Essen, Germany, is proud to be the hosting grounds of Q1 headquarters—a magnificent landmark that stands freely between other Eco-friendly buildings.

It would be best if you visited it at night to witness how its lighting illuminates the glasses creating a perfect contrast with the metallic frames.

A metal architecture office building with a car in front of it.

A modern metal office building in the middle of a grassy field.

The Eco-friendly structure owned by ThyssenKrupp, a German Multinational Agency, was constructed with 400,000 metal leaflets built into steel frames.

These leaflets can shift with the sun’s position to create a shade or let in more light. In so doing, the building regulates indoor temperatures on its own, eliminating the need for electricity-powered air conditioners.

2. Centre Pompidou in Paris, France

Claude Monet painting metal architecture in Paris.

Center Pompidou is a one-of-its-kind inside-out structure located near the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

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Again, this structure shames the critics who feel metal architecture can’t be beautiful on the outside. Surprisingly, this construction has all its structural, drainage, wiring, and mechanical systems built on the outside.

A metal architecture featuring blue and green pipes.

You can almost see everything— pipes, metals, wires, safety gadgets –that forms a building’s internal frame on the exterior.

All these happened thanks to 15 000 tons of steel, among other materials. The metal structures stand in front of a glass background giving the Pompidou a construction site look.

But a closer stare startles the mind and makes you wonder the inspiration behind the works of Richard Rogers, the lead architect, and his friends.

3. 3M Italia Headquarters in Milan, Italy

A contemporary building with a metal facade.

A metal structure with large glass panels. A glass-walled office building.

A glance at the 3M Italia Headquarters in Milan, Italy, and you’ll realize you can indeed own a metal home.

The 3M shows off the potential of metal by incorporating disjointed frames and blends in wood to create a captivating industrial appeal.

Of course, this charm wouldn’t have been possible without glass walls. And to make it more than just a famous work of architecture, the designer installed solar panels. So the building can take advantage of natural Energy.

4. Aquatics Centre in London, UK

An artist's rendering of the metal olympic stadium.

A large metal building with a curved roof.

The Aquatics center stands beautifully, almost as a lady, opposite the Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London.

It is a waterwave like construction, perhaps designed to suit its theme and purpose as a swimming and diving arena.

An artist's rendering of the metal Olympic stadium.

The Olympic swimming pool features stunning metal architecture in London.

A view from the outside brandishes a metallic roof built of 2800 tons of steel resting on top of supporting concrete. Metal also appears on the sides as reinforcing pillars.

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The structure is a modern-day design built for the 2012 Olympics by Pritzker Prize-winning engineer Zaha Hadid. And guess what, it can host over 17,000 guests.

5. Metaphone in Pas-de-Calais, France

A metal building with a glass facade and a red door.

The Metaphone draws its inspiration from a former French coal mine “The 9-9bis pit” of the 1930s-90s.

Located in Pas-de-Calais, France, this modern-day buildings is one of the rare cases in design history when the goal was to achieve a house and musical instrument.

The Metaphone, by Herault Arnold Architects, was built to produce its own musical sounds and multitask as a concert hall.

A metal building with a large tower in front of it. A room with a lot of old metal clocks in an architectural setting.

Metal (steel) forms the structural frame, then comes in steel panels, wood, and solar glasses. When singing happens indoors, those panels vibrate, hold, and release sound to create exceptional music.

This double-walled building has another thin metal skin on the inside, which further contributes to its musical function.

Other magnificent metal structures you must see include the Swallow’s Nest Cultural Centre, and oh the Disney Concert Hall, both based in Los Angeles.

And that’s not all the list of buildings showing of metal architecture could get longer.

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An architecture with a metal roof. A metal architecture with two doors and a gravel driveway.

Which of these works of metal architecture inspires you to try your own? Well, nothing can stop you. If these structures aren’t as expensive as perceived and design options aren’t limited, then you are the only thing standing on your way.

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